Peaceful coexistence - A reflection on World Environment Day

The recent times have been painful and distressful. Instances of being denied  basic respect and acceptance makes us think. What is that we are missing and how can we make it better? Where do we draw a line for non-acceptance? After all humans, animals, things, situations, and everything we perceive can be accepted. While some find it difficult to accept a race or community,some find it difficult to accept a slug in their garden or fox on their streets and some find it difficult to  accept windmills in their village for it spoils the beauty of the landscape. Non acceptance can turn into feeling of disgust which leads to acts of eliminating them. All we need is a little bit of education which us gives food for thought and empathy which opens our minds to learn.

Let me honest here, I have been brought up in a society which had and still has reservations against certain class or religion or community. Even if it was not spoken outwardly it was discussed among hushed circles. However, I am thankful I had good friends and people who have enabled me to be open minded and learn. Learning has helped to build acceptance.I still struggle to accept plastic waste at parties, food waste at gatherings, fireworks, trash strewn over in pathways and so many similar things. I do lose my peace sometimes, but I have moved my focus to action and learning. I constantly visit them to keep my peace and some of those learning and acts has resulted in ecofully being born. Learning builds understanding and creates new ways of implementing action while action brings in peace, hope and progress.

In one of the recent question time on veganic growing, there was a question on slugs. How do you deal with slugs without killing them? One of the panel members answered – Sometimes we need to think from the point of view of slugs, what do they want? That point was put so beautifully put by the lady. In my previous home, I did not grow anything. I just gave up on slugs. I was so disgusted by them and their menace. It was so demotivating that I refused to grow. In my second home in UK, I happened to learn more on food miles, and I decided to grow again and learn to deal with slugs. I started with growing food which slugs do not eat. Action gives hope and a sense of progress and it motivated me to grow more. I did and even lost some to slugs and snails. However,  this time, it did not disturb me rather it motivated me to learn more and understand them. Now, I have a newfound respect for them as they deal with so much waste. They help to reduce my waste to healthy compost. They are so bloody useful and to have a sense of disgust for them is so futile and it also deters progress. You may choose to kill them organically, but nothing beats the joy of a win-win situation. I use dried mulch around, copper tape and some night watching and putting slugs back in my compost. I have not got rid of them, but at the same time my plants are fine now. I may have lost a bit here and there, but that is still okay. It has been quite an interesting journey from being disgusted with slugs to peacefully coexist with them.

If we ever find ourselves in a situation of disgust or non-acceptance of anything be it environment or people or situations, then it is time for us to learn and act towards win-win situations and use our anger or non-acceptance constructively. This will build an environment where all earthlings can peacefully coexist. Happy World Environment Day!


 - Vivina Vincent 

   Co Founder of Ecofully



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